US First Lady Melania Trump has seemingly thrown her support behind LeBron James after her husband Donald launched a scathing Twitter attack on the NBA superstar, insulting both his intelligence and sporting prowess.
Trump’s Tweet came after LeBron sat down with CNN host Don Lemon to discuss the public school he recently opened, that will provide free tuition, uniforms and food to at-risk young people in his home town of Akron, Ohio.
While almost everyone has praised the star for this magnanimous gesture, Trump found a way to be negative, saying: “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
His last line is a reference to a famous ’90s Gatorade ad featuring Michael Jordan, and presumably an insinuation that Jordan is the better player.
Needless to say, the President’s Tweet was not well-received, with celebrities, top Republicans, Michael Jordan himself and even Trump’s own wife coming out in support of LeBron.
When asked for the First Lady’s comments, spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said:
“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.”
The statement continued:
“As you know, Mrs. Trump has traveled the country and world talking to children about their well-being, healthy living, and the importance of responsible online behavior with her Be Best initiative. Her platform centers around visiting organizations, hospitals and schools, and she would be open to visiting the I Promise School in Akron.”
Speaking with NBC News, Michael Jordan also backed LeBron, saying: “I support LJ. He is doing an amazing job for his community.”
Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich was also supportive, saying that James should be celebrated for his charity work and efforts to help children, and that he’s clearly a better all-round player than Jordan – “that’s a fact.”
Rather than criticizing @KingJames, we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids.
By the way, all-around he’s better than Michael Jordan. That’s a fact.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 4, 2018
Numerous others supported and defended James on Twitter:
LeBron James just opened a public school for at-risk kids, while the Trump Administration continues to keep migrant children separated from their families. That's all you need to know.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 4, 2018
LeBron himself took the high road, and instead of responding directly to the President, sent out a Tweet in support of the new class of grade three and four students who recently started at his I Promise School.
Let’s get it kids!! Love you guys https://t.co/kY88geedus
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 4, 2018
.@BarackObama and I are so proud of @KingJames and @IPROMISESchool. Kids in Akron and across the US are lucky to have you as a role model on and off the court. Keep using your platform for good and giving our kids a chance to shoot for the stars. ???????? #ReachHigher #BetterMakeRoom pic.twitter.com/hyS6UM2A7b
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 31, 2018
This is the second time this week that a member of the President’s own family has broken ranks, after his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump said that she agrees with the criticism of his immigration policies and that the separation of immigrant families at the border was a “low point.”Source: CBS News
Image: Getty Images / Jason Miller